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Wheal Seton Mine, Cornwall

Principal ores: COPPER, TIN, ZINC & ARSENIC

Camborne: grid reference SW654415

Notable minerals: Chalcopyrite.

Location: The former sett of Wheal Seton lies just to the north of Camborne town in the district known as Rosewarne. Nothing remains of the mine nowadays as the sett was cut through and obliterated by the building of the A30 trunk road (Camborne by-pass) in the 1980's. Its nearest neighbours were Wheal Emily Henrietta, 400 yards away to the northwest; East Wheal Seton, West Wheal Seton, New Wheal Seton and Wheal Gerry (South Roskear Mine) about half a mile off to the southwest. The area was rich in copper and tin lodes with North Roskear producing 170,000 tons, West Wheal Seton 126,000 tons and Wheal Seton 113,000 tons but their contribution to the local economy is overshadowed by the huge amounts raised at Dolcoath nearby.

Richard Tredinnick reports in his 1858 book entitled 'A Review of Cornish Copper Mining Enterprise' that 'Seton consists of 198 shares, £107 paid against dividends of £286 10s, and market value of £125 per share. It stands a forcible example of Cornish pluck, patience, and perseverence in mining enterprise, and most creditably to the memory of the late Colin Harvey, Esq., who persevered against many and all but crippling obstacles. One of the shareholders becoming faint-hearted, relinquished just previously to success, hence the shares from 100 became 99, and by division since, 198. This mine commenced to pay dividends in the year 1846, and has continued to pay as follows:—

1846 £8,910, 1847 £11,880, 1848 £8,415 1849 £1,584 1850 £ 5,940 1851 £4,752 1852 £4,752, 1853 £3,366, 1854 £4,564, 1855 £1,387 1856 2,871 1857 2,475 1858 Nil. TOTAL £60,896

Copper ores sold from 30th June, 1849 to 30th June 1857:- 1850 5,721 tons worth £25,337, 1851 5,816 tons worth £25,660, 1852 5,339 tons worth £26,041, 1853 4,825 tons worth £26,453, 1854 4,953 tons worth £29,197, 1855 4,380 tons worth £22,196, 1856 3,583 tons worth £17,423, 1857 2,759 tons worth £15,673. TOTAL 37,376 tons worth £187,980.

Thomas Spargo states a few years later in his book The Mines of Cornwall (1865) that Wheal Seton was managed by Captain Robert Williams and the mine leased from the landowners, Miles Charles Seton Esquire and Mrs. Pendarves. Equipment at the mine included a 70-inch pumping engine, a combined 22-inch winding and crushing engine, a 24-inch stamps engine and even a waterwheel. The size of the operation can be seen by the fact that employment in 1864 was 480 people made up from 220 men; and 260 mine girls and boys.

Wheal Seton, predominantly a copper mine (1845-77) also produced moderate amounts of tin between 1855 and 1876. A sizeable amount of arsenic was raised and sold between 1857 and 1875 as well as a little zinc ore and fluorspar. Shafts included Simmons', Carlyon's, Tregonning's, Tilly's, Footway and Barwell's Shafts. There is surprisingly little further information on the Seton group of mines apart from the fact that Wheal Seton became part of West Seton in 1874. The Mine Manager at this time was William Teague.

For more in depth information on Wheal Seton and its neighbouring mines please purchase a copy of the excellent Cornwall's Central Mines: Northern District, 1810-95 by T. A. Morrison.

There is a wealth of information on the mines and miners of Cornwall available. Why not explore Cornwall's industrial heritage through the Bookstore?

Other nearby mines and their main ores

West Wheal Seton (approx. 0.2 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

North Roskear (approx. 0.5 km; COPPER & TIN )

South Roskear (approx. 0.7 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

Wheal Emily Henrietta (approx. 0.8 km; COPPER & ZINC)

East Wheal Seton (approx. 1.2 km; COPPER & TIN)

North Crofty (approx. 1.3 km; COPPER & TIN)

Dolcoath (approx. 1.5 km; COPPER, TIN, ARSENIC & MISPICKEL)

Camborne Vean (approx. 1.6 km; COPPER 1845-85 & TIN 1857-84)

Cook’s Kitchen (approx. 1.7 km; COPPER, TIN & ARSENIC)

Stray Park (approx. 1.9 km; TIN & COPPER)


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